Since ancient times, all over the world there have been numerous legends about heroes and ordinary people who, at will or without it, can turn into different animals.
There is even a special list of names for all known werewolf species. Thus, a lycanthrope is a werewolf that takes on a wolf-like or wolf-like appearance. A lycanthrope in Slavic mythology is called a wolf or wolf lak. Werfolf is a werewolf among the Germans and Anglo-Saxons. Kitsune is a werewolf fox in Japan. Anioto - people-leopards among the peoples of Africa and Asia. Silks (Selkies) - people-seals among the Celts.
Volga Svyatoslavich, a hero from Russian epics, also did not disdain to turn into a "left-beast", "a pike-fish", "a bay round-golden horns", "an ermine", or even a "little bird-bird" on occasion. Auzh the insidious Serpent Gorynych only knows that he turns into a handsome young man, seducing women. Endowed with the same ability Koschey the Immortal. And even in "The Lay of Igor's Campaign" Vseslav is represented as a sorcerer and a werewolf.
It is said that there are several ways to become a werewolf: through magic; as a result of a curse, a werewolf bite or being conceived from it. In addition, you can become a werewolf by eating a wolf's brain, taking a sip of water from a wolf's footprint in the ground or from a reservoir from which a wolf pack drank, throwing on a wolf fur coat, etc.
At the same time, the most pseudo-scientific works say that circulation occurs as a result of infection of a person's blood with a certain harmful virus. They even came up with the name WW (Word of wolfs).
It is either transmitted either by inheritance, or by penetrating into the bloodstream, or artificially inoculated. Moreover, it is even more harmful than the HIV virus, since, as one source says, “the area that the virus infects is not the body, as was believed in the Middle Ages, but the energy of the owner” …
Some researchers also believe that werewolves are to some extent in the neighborhood of vampires, which we will talk about a little later. In any case, it is believed that one of the ways to kill the everlasting vampire is with the bite of a werewolf.
And the vampires themselves are often also able to change their appearance. So, in the novel by Bram Stoker "Count Dracula" the vampire appears in several guises during the action - an old man, a young handsome man, a giant bat, a large black dog, etc.
According to legends, werewolves can possess many outstanding abilities (exceeding the capabilities of not only humans, but also animals): supernatural strength, agility and speed, night vision, long life …
But you can still kill a werewolf, for example, by striking the heart or cutting off the head. The wounds inflicted on the werewolf in animal form remain on his human body. In this way, you can expose a werewolf in a living person: if the wound inflicted on the beast later manifests itself in a person, then this person is that werewolf.
Selkie - the seal man in Ireland
Here is how, for example, a great expert on folk beliefs N. V. Gogol in May Night. When the centurion married a second time and withdrew with his young wife to his bedchamber, the poor lady, his daughter from her first marriage, locked herself in her room. It became bitter to her; began to cry. Looks: a terrible black cat sneaks up to her; the fur on it burns, and the iron claws clatter on the floor. Frightened, she jumped onto the bench, and the cat followed her. She jumped onto the couch - the cat went there too, and suddenly threw herself on her neck and strangled her.
His father's saber hung on the wall. The girl grabbed her, waved her, and the paw with iron claws bounced off, and the cat disappeared with a squeal in a dark corner.
For a long time the young wife of the centurion did not leave her room, and on the third day she came out with a bandaged hand. And the poor lady understood that her stepmother was a werewolf and that she had cut her hand.
In addition, it is believed that a werewolf can be killed, like other evil spirits, with a silver bullet or silver melee weapons. At the same time, traditional anti-vampire remedies in the form of garlic, holy water and aspen cola are not effective against werewolves. After death, the beast turns into a man for the last time.
It is also possible to turn a werewolf back into a normal person in several ways: with the help of witchcraft, magic or miraculous medicine (in the film "American Werewolf in Paris," the corresponding vaccine is created in the laboratory).
But the surest way is to kill the werewolf who, with his bite, initiated the transformation of this person. After the death of a werewolf, all people converted to him become normal again.
These are fairy tales and myths. But what lies behind them? Researchers believe that the basis of myth-making was some congenital violations of the human essence. So, for example, in the 80s of the XIX century, Fyodor Yevtishchev was very popular - a "man-dog" who successfully performed in circuses and menageries.
In addition, doctors have documented cases of "lycanthropy" - a psychiatric disease of genetic origin, when a person considers himself to be some kind of wild animal, for example, a wolf, and behaves accordingly. Another genetic abnormality, "congenital hypertrichosis", causes abundant growth of hair on the face and upper body (this is exactly what F. Evtischev had). Moreover, Fedor was not the only one of its kind - a description of hypertrichosis in one Mexican family was carried out in 1984 by a group of researchers from the University of Guadalajara, under the leadership of Dr. José Maria Cantu.
This study confirmed the work of Dr. Lee Illis of Hampshire, who in 1963 submitted a work to the British Royal Society of Medicine entitled "On Porphyria and the Etymology of Werewolves." In it, based on many facts, he came to the conclusion that outbreaks of werewolf have a reliable medical basis.
We are really talking about a serious illness, as a result of which people lose their human appearance and often lose their minds. In his work, Lee Illis cited about 80 cases of similar diseases, described and studied by certified doctors. Of course, in this case, a person does not turn into a wolf, but becomes a creature that is very far from a person in his physical and mental understanding.
The fact that the disease is transmitted through bites, Dr. Illis considers nonsense. Another thing is heredity. This option is not excluded, in some cases it is natural. It is influenced by many factors, including genetic abnormalities, food and nutrition, climate.
In this regard, Lee Illis notes that it is no coincidence that in Western Europe werewolves sometimes covered entire villages, the most frequent such cases were in Sweden and Switzerland, and for example Ceylon is not at all familiar with such a disaster.
Lee Illis's discovery is certainly sensational. However, it does not answer a number of questions, the main one of which is: how does a werewolf regain human form, and sometimes very quickly?
Illis himself considers such a "reverse transformation" theoretically possible, but practically unlikely. However, legends suggest otherwise. Thus, the mystery of the wolf-man is not fully solved.